"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn't want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, And they will call him, Emmanuel." Matthew 1:18-23 (CEV)

Good Morning! I don't know about you but the story of Jesus' birth never grows old to me. Matter of fact, the older I get the more special it becomes to my heart. Truly the birth of Jesus is a remarkable story with so many lessons for us to learn within it. Today, I share one thought from the birth of Jesus story with you.

Have you ever felt like Joseph must have felt? A person you love so dearly comes to you with news that you feel has made them a liar and a betrayer? Unfortunately most of the time the person is a liar. This is a hurt that can't be described. Each betrayal has it's own unique pain that rips your heart. Unlike Joseph most of us will not have an angel that comes and tells us that the person who has hurt us is actually telling the truth. Thank God that for Joseph God sent an angel to clear Mary's name.

If you have been betrayed or lied to, then this thought may just be what you need to hear to set you free. This Holiday season give yourself a gift that is worth more than anything money can buy. Give yourself freedom from hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness. They have said these things are poison to your soul. The person who has hurt you doesn't even know how much it hurts and most likely they don't even care. But God does care and He longs to heal you this Christmas.

My challenge this week is: if you have been lied to or betrayed go to God right now and ask Him to purify your heart. Ask God to take all of the hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness and release you from it right now! Allow God to fill your heart with forgiveness and hope. Receive God's total forgiveness for all of your sins then offer this back to the people that have hurt you. It is the best gift you can give yourself ever! You will be emptied of emotions that are toxic and that are keeping your wells of blessings stopped up. Get ready for a great Holiday season and extraordinary gifts to come your way! Remember this promise from God, as we are obedient to God's will even when it seems so hard your rewards will always follow your obedience!

Merry Christmas! I love you and am here for you. Let me encourage you today.

Livin' lively, Laine